Flipping through Gov. Chet Culver’s 2010 budget plan, I noticed that he eliminated funding for restoration/stabilization of hundreds of flags carried into battle by Iowans. Most were hoisted in the Civil War.
You can learn more about the program here.
The State Historical Society of Iowa asked for $220,000 to keep the program going. Culver gave them zero. Jeff Morgan, spokesman for the society, says there probably will be some money left over from the current year to keep the program going after the new budget years starts July 1.
It’s also possible the Legislature will fund the program.
There are 352 flags in the state’s collection, some shredded by gunfire and stained with blood. Iowa made remarkable sacrifices in defense of the union, and the flags are a fragile, decaying symbol of that service.
Now, I’m not pointing this out to whine or argue Culver’s cut was wrong or should be reversed. Things are tough all over. Lots of pretty important stuff is getting the ax. The money is just not there. The economy stinks.
I’m calling attention to it because people are free to donate money to the battle flag program. If you think it’s important, and can spare a few bucks, vote with your checkbook.
You can call the historical society at (515) 281-5111.